Washington State First Offense DUI Laws

how to beat a first offense dui charge in washington state
washington first offense dui laws and penalties, fines, license suspension, sr22 filing

The State of Washington has an Implied Consent Law, which means that, just by driving on Washington roads, you are agreeing to consent to a chemical alcohol test (such as a breathalyzer or blood test) if asked to do so by law enforcement.

If this test determines that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher or if your BAC is lower than 0.08, but law enforcement can prove that your driving was affected by alcohol, you can be charged with a DUI.

In Washington, a DUI charge includes two separate processes: administrative, through the Department of Licensing, and criminal, through the courts. The processes are complicated and the penalties severe. If you have been charged with a DUI, it would behoove you to contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer who specializes in alcohol-related driving charges knows the ins and outs of the law and will make sure that you are treated fairly throughout both processes. An alcohol-related conviction, even a first offense, will remain on your record for life.

Washington First Offense DUI Penalties:

In Washington, first offense DUI penalties are steep. If you have not been charged with an alcohol-related driving offense in the past seven years, an arrest will be considered your "first offense".

When you are arrested, you have 20 days to request an administrative hearing. You can do this online or by mailing a Hearing Request Form. The police will probably give you a Hearing Request Form at the time of your arrest. There is a $200 hearing request fee.

First offense DUI penalties may include:

  • 90 day driver's license suspension
  • $5,000 fine
  • Court costs
  • SR22 insurance requirement
  • $150 license reissue fee
  • 1 day to 1 year in jail

If you had a child in the vehicle with you at the time of your DUI incident, you will face additional penalties.

Before the DMV will reinstate your driver's license you will be required to complete an SR22 filing with them. You can obtain an SR22 insurance policy and filing by clicking below and completing the short form on the following page:

Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL):

The State of Washington allows for an Ignition Interlock Driver License (IIL). This limited license allows you to drive during your suspension, but requires you to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive. For a first offense DUI, the ignition interlock requirement is for 1 year.

In order to qualify for an IIL, you must provide proof of future financial responsibility. This is usually done in the form of Washington SR22 insurance, a high-risk auto insurance policy that proves to the State of Washington that you, as a high-risk driver, are fully insured. SR22 insurance can be expensive, so you will want to compare competitive rates. You can do so by clicking the button below:

how to fight a washington first offense dui charge and win

Additional Washington DUI Resources

  • Washington DUI Laws - A complete overview of Washington DUI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.

  • Washington SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about Washington SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your WA SR22 insurance.

  • Washington DUI Lawyers -   Contact one of our Washington DUI lawyers today.

  • Washington Alcohol Assessment Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of Washington approved alcohol assessment education & treatment programs.